Hemp can play a vital role in reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) in Australia, conserving precious water resources, improving soil quality, and providing farmers with valuable carbon credits, according to the last paper Written by James Vosper, GoodEarth Resources PTY Ltd, President of the Australian Industrial Hemp Federation.
Vosper suggests that large-scale cannabis cultivation could boost economic development and employment in poor rural areas of the country.
“Synthetic hemp is unparalleled as a means to permanently sequester and bind carbon dioxide to the materials in which it is manufactured,” according to the paper, which was released earlier this year.
Income for farmers
For farmers, hemp offers the possibility to make money off certified carbon credits which can be sold to the government under Australia law emission reduction fund (ERF), a voluntary scheme that stimulates the development of new practices and technologies aimed at reducing Australia’s overall carbon dioxide footprint.
In addition to the ERF, the Australian Clean Energy Regulator (CER) is in the process of developing exchange This would simplify the trading of carbon credits, which are in high demand in the corporate sector, in accordance with the criteria for reducing carbon emissions. Credits can also be sold on secondary markets.Vosper suggests that “adopting industrial hemp as a carbon credit generator will make its cultivation more attractive.”
Carbon exchange will support businesses and governments in meeting their voluntary commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the lowest possible cost, in accordance with CER standards. The agency estimates that by 2030, the exchange will save companies up to $100 million in transaction costs associated with trading carbon credits.
In Australia, where agriculture contributes about 13% of carbon dioxide emissions, the government has set a goal to reduce overall emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030 Under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
With potential in applications such as paper, textiles, green building materials, biofuels, food and animal feed, hemp could stimulate new sustainable industries and reduce Australia’s dependence on imports, Vosper said in the paper.
“Hemp can be grown on existing farmland (as opposed to most forestry projects), and can be included as part of a farm’s crop rotation with positive effects on overall yield to follow crops,” Vosper wrote. Thus it can comply with the Australian Government’s plans to increase employment and improve the economic situation of the hinterland. This is especially important for Aboriginal landowners and Torres Strait Islander people.”